Heard

Working to Advance Health Equity in Africa

About

Professor Nana Poku

  • Executive Director and Professor of Health Economics
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  • Email: heard@ukzn.ac.za
  • Office: +27 (0)31 260-2590/7920
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Professor Nana K. Poku is a Political Economist with a research focus on the role of institutions (domestic and global) in health provision for the poor in Africa. Over the past two decades, his research on the political economy of Africa’s HIV and AIDS epidemic has been amongst the most influential on the subject. Within the context of the World Health Organisation’s global aim to treat three million persons living with HIV and AIDS by 2005, he directed operational research for the World Bank funded Treatment Acceleration Programme (TAP) to test the feasibility of complex medication scale-up in resource limited settings.

Between 2003 – 2006 Professor Poku was tasked by then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to lead the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA) at the Economic Commission for Africa. CHGA pioneered a range of impact studies on the effects of HIV and AIDS on state structures and economic development in Africa, and assisted governments to consolidate the design and implementation of policies and programmes to mitigate the effects of the epidemic.

In 2007, Professor Poku was an expert witness to United States Congressional Committee on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). During 2006 – 7, he was a member of the Expert Advisory Group to the EU Africa Governance Project, and from 2007 to 2010, he also served as a Special Advisor to British Government (Cabinet Office of Prime Minister) on Africa. Since 2007, he has been Senior Advisor on HIV/AIDS policies within Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers for a number of African countries, and over the past 15 years has worked in various capacities with the World Health Organisation, World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, UNAIDS, International Labour Organisation, European Union, African Union, African Development Bank, Southern African Development Community, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and various national development agencies, among others. He has led 19 country programme appraisal missions in 16 countries in Africa.

Professor Poku has a wide array of published work on globalisation and security; HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa; global health; governance; migration and human security. He has published 15 books, over 30 book contributions and more than 20 peer reviewed articles in internationally recognised journals, including International Affairs. Review of International Studies, International Relations, and Third World Quarterly. He has guest co/edited journal special issues for International Affairs on HIV/AIDS and Governance (2006); Third World Quarterly on Global Health (2002) and the Millennium Development Goals (2011) and International Relations on the Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Africa (2000). He is also editor of three Ashgate book series: Contemporary African Politics; Global Security in a Changing World; and Global Health, as well as Zed Books Rebels series. He is currently working on a variety of research projects, including issues around security and development, globalisation, African politics, and HIV and AIDS.

Professor Poku was formerly Pro-vice Chancellor of Research at University of Bradford where he also served as Dean of School of Social and International Studies. Prior to Bradford, he held senior faculty posts at Universities of Southampton and Nottingham Trent, UK.

Research Outputs

Books

  • Poku, N. (ed.) forthcoming 2017. Politics and economics of Africa. OneWorld Publishing
  • Poku, N. (ed.) forthcoming 2016. Africa in the age of neoliberalism. Ashgate Press
  • Oyaya, C. and Poku, N. forthcoming 2016. Constitutional developments and constitution making in Kenya: A quest for legitimacy. Ashgate Press
  • Poku, N. and Whitman, J. (eds.). 2013. The Millennium Development Goals: Challenges, prospects and opportunities. Routledge.
  • Poku, N. and Mdee, A. 2011. Politics in Africa: A new introduction. Zed Books.
  • Poku, N. and Boesten, J (eds.). 2009. Gender and HIV/AIDS. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. and Senghor, J.C. (eds.). 2008. Towards Africa’s renewal. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N., Whiteside, A. and Sandkjaer, B. (eds.). 2008. AIDS and governance. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. and McGrew, A. (eds.). 2007. Globalisation, development and human security. Polity Press.
  • Poku, N. 2006. AIDS in Africa: ‘How the poor are dying’. Polity Press.
  • Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. (eds.). 2004. The political economy of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. (eds.). 2003. Global health and governance: HIV/AIDS. Palgrave.
  • Poku, N. 2001. Regionalization and security in Southern Africa. Palgrave.
  • Poku, N. (ed.). 2001. Security and development in Southern Africa. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. and Graham, D. (eds.). 2000. Migration, globalisation and human security. Routledge.
  • Poku, N. and Graham, D. (eds.). 1999. Redefining security: Population movement and national security. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. (eds.). 1998. Redefining the third world. Macmillan Press.
  • Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. (eds.). 1997. Understanding international relations. TNT University Press. 

Journal articles

  • Poku, N.,. (2016) UN political declaration on HIV and AIDS: where to begin?, The Lancet, 388 (10046), pp 743–744, DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31336-8
  • Poku, N., (2016) How should the post-2015 response to AIDS relate to the drive for universal health coverage?’ Global Public Health
  • Poku, N. and Bonnel, R. forthcoming 2016. Funding of community-based interventions for HIV prevention‘. African Journal of AIDS Research
  • Poku, N. 2016. HIV prevention: The key to ending AIDS by 2030. Open AIDS Journal. Vol.10
  • Poku, N. 2014. HIV/AIDS, state fragility and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1308. International Journal of Peace Keeping.
  • Poku, N. and Whitman, J. 2011. Developing country health systems and the governance of international HIV/AIDS funding. International Journal of Health Planning and Management.
  • Poku, N. and Whitman, J. 2011. The Millennium Development Goals: Prospects, challenges and opportunities. Third World Quarterly. Vol.32, No1.
  • Poku, N. and Whitman, J. 2011. The Millennium Development Goals and development after 2015. Third World Quarterly. Vol. 32, No. 1.
  • Poku, N. 2008. VIH/SIDA y Gobernanza, Vanguardia Dossier. Numero 26 Enero/Marzo, May
  • Poku, N. and Sandkjaer, B. 2007. Meeting the challenge of scaling up treatment and care in Africa. Journal of Development in Practice. Vol.17, No.2.
  • Poku, N., Renwick, N. and Porto, J.G. 2007. Human security and development in Africa. Journal of International Affairs. Vol.83. No.6, November.
  • Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. 2006. 25 years: challenges and prospects. HIV/AIDS special issue, International Affairs. Vol. 82, No. 2, March.
  • Poku, N. 2006. Financing: A case for improving the quality and quantity of aid. HIV/AIDS special issue, International Affairs. Vol. 82, No. 2, March.
  • Poku, N. and Freedman, J. 2005. The socio-economic context of HIV/AIDS. Review of International Studies. Vol. 31, No. 4, October.
  • Poku, N. 2002. Poverty, debt and Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis. International Affairs. Vol. 78, No.3 July.
    Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. 2002. Global health and the politics of governance. Third World Quarterly. Vol.23, No.2,  pp. 191-195.
  • Poku, N. 2002. The global AIDS Fund: Context and opportunity. Third World Quarterly. Vol.23, No.2, pp. 283-298.
  • Poku, N. and Cheru, F. 2001. The politics of poverty and debt in Africa’s AIDS Crisis. International Relations. Vol. XV No. 6, December, pp.37-55.
  • Poku, N. 2001. AIDS in Africa: An overview. International Relations. Vol. XV No. 6, December, pp.5-15.
  • Poku, N. 2001. Africa’s AIDS crisis in context: ‘How the poor are dying’’. Third World Quarterly. Vol. 22, No. 2, pp.191-204.
  • Poku, N. 2000. Poverty, AIDS and the politics of response in Africa. International Relations. Vol. XV, No.3, December, pp.39-52.
  • Poku, N. 1998. Constructivism and third world research. International Relations. Vol. XIV, No.2. August.
  • Poku, N. 1997. The crisis of legitimacy and the emergence of democratic South Africa: A critical review. Indian Journal of African Studies. July.
  • Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. 1996. Practice and theory in the security debate. Security Dialogue. Vol. 27, No 3, September, pp. 356-358.

Book contributions

  • Poku, N. and Therkelsen, J. 2015. ‘Globalization, development, and security’. In Collins, A. (eds.). Contemporary Security Studies. Fourth edition. Oxford University Press.
  • Poku, N. and Therkelsen, J. 2013. Globalization, development, and security. In Collins, A. (eds.). Contemporary Security Studies. Third edition. Oxford University Press.
  • Poku, N. 2010. Globalization, development, and security. In Collins, A. (eds.). Contemporary Security Studies. Second edition. Oxford University Press.
  • Poku, N. and Boesten, J. 2009. Gender and AIDS in world politics. In Poku, N. and Boesten, J. (eds.). Gender and AIDS. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. and Sandkjaer, B. 2009. Global pandemics and security challenge. In Brauch, H. (ed.). Security and the Environment. Hexagon Books.
  • Poku, N. and Sandkjaer, B. 2009. Human security and Africa. In Brauch, H. (ed.). Security and the Environment. Hexagon Books.
  • Poku, N. 2008. AIDS and the future of the African State. In Foller, M. and Thorn, H. (eds.). The Politics of AIDS: Globalisation, The State and Civil Society. Palgrave Press.
  • Poku, N. and Sandkjaer, B. 2008.  From state security to human security. In Ndinga-Muvumba, A. and Pharoah, R. (eds.). HIV/AIDS and society in South Africa. University of Kwazulu-Natal Press.
  • Poku, N. 2008. Context of security in Africa. In Francis, D. (ed.). Peace and Conflict in Africa. Zed Press.
  • Poku, N. 2007. HIV/AIDS in a globalised world: An unequal epidemic in an unequal world. In McGrew, A. and
  • Poku, N. (eds.). Globalisation, Development and Human Security. Polity Press.
  • Poku, N. and Sandkjaer, B. 2007. HIV/AIDS in the context of poverty: Africa’s deadly epidemic. In Ostergard, R. (ed.). HIV/AIDS and the Threat to National and International Security. Palgrave Press.
  • Poku, N. and Irurzun-Lopez, M. 2005. Pursuing African AIDS governance: Consolidating the response and preparing for the Future. In Patterson, A. (ed.). The African State and the AIDS Crisis. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. and Freedman, J. 2005. State responses to the AIDS pandemic. In Engel, U. and Rye Olsen, G. (eds.). Understanding the African Exception: Today’s received wisdom and tomorrow’s perceived knowledge. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. 2004. Confronting AIDS with debt: Africa’s silent crisis. In Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. (eds.). The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. 2004. Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis. In Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. (eds.). The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Ashgate Press.
  • Poku, N. 2003. The Global Fund: Context and opportunity. In Poku, N. and Whiteside, A. (eds.). Global Health and Governance. Palgrave.
  • Poku, N. 2002. Global pandemics: AIDS. In D. Held and A. McGrew (eds.). Governing the Global Polity. Polity Press.
  • Poku N. 2001. Uneven globalization and human insecurity in Africa. In Poku, N. (eds.). Security and Development in Southern Africa. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. 2001. The crisis of AIDS in Africa and the politics of response. In Poku, N. (eds.). Security and Development in Southern Africa. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. Renwick, N., and Glenn, J. 2000. Human security in a globalised world. In Poku N., and Graham, D. (eds.). Migration, Globalisation and Human Security. London: Routledge.
  • Poku, N. 1999. Redefining security for a new millennium. In Poku, N. and Graham, D. (eds.). Redefining Security:
  • Population Movement and National Security. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. and Vale, P. 1999. Un Futuro per seguide por supasado. Sudafrica y su region. In Castel, A. (ed.). El Africa QueViene. Oxfam Internacional.
  • Poku, N. and Graham, D. 1999. Population movements health and security. In Poku, N. and Graham, D. (eds.). Redefining Security: Population Movement and National Security. Greenwood Press.
  • Poku, N. and Sorenson, G. 1998. Redefining the third world: An introduction. In Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. (eds.). Redefining The Third World. London: Macmillan Press
  • Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. 1998. A Call for complexity in third world research: Challenging the false god of theoretical parsimony. In Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. (eds.). Redefining The Third World. London: Macmillan Press
  • Poku, N. 1998. Security and development in Africa: Cold war and beyond. In Poku, N. and Pettiford, L. (eds.). Redefining The Third World. London: Macmillan Press.
  • Poku, N. 1996. The Construction of ethnic identities In contemporary Africa. In Renwick, N. and Krause, J. (eds.). Identities in International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan.

Reports

  • 2014. Potential financing options for HIV in Malawi.Background paper for Government of Malawi’s Application to Global Fund. Commissioned by the Government of Malawi.
  • 2014. Prioritisation of HIV interventions for Malawi. Background paper produced for the development of Malawi’s National AIDS Strategy. Commissioned by Government of Malawi.
  • 2014. Methodology for developing 3rd generation national AIDS strategic plans. UNAIDS Commissioned paper for policy intervention. Commissioned by UNAIDS Regional Office East and Southern Africa.
  • 2007. Principal Author: Confronting HIV/AIDS in Africa, the governance challenge. CHGA final report for United Nations Security Council.
  • 2007. Lead Consultant and co-Author to drafting of Africa multi-country AIDS Program 2000–2006: results of the world bank’s response to a development crisis. World Bank.
  • 2005. Co-Principal Drafter: Gleneagles Chairman’s Summary notes for Plenary sessions (delivered by Kofi Annan).
  • 2005. Poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa. Economic Commission for Africa.
  • 2005. The HIV epidemic and the educational sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2005. Co-Author of Flagship UNECA publication. Africa Governance Report.
  • 2005. Contributor to Our common interest: an argument. Final report of the Africa Commission, UK. Commissioned by DFID.
  • 2005. Report to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Rapid assessment of hope for African children initiative (HACI)
  • 2005. Preparation of papers on Beijing Plus 10. Review and appraisal of the progress on gender in Africa following Beijing Declaration and platform for action. Economic Commission for Africa.
  • 2004. Strengthening national capacity for HIV/AIDS strategic planning. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2004. The vulnerability of women to HIV/AIDS. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2004. The HIV epidemic and sustainable human development. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2004. Socio-economic causes and consequences of the HIV epidemic in Africa. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2004. Preparation of paper on Mainstreaming the policy and programme response to the HIV epidemic in Africa. Issues paper for Ghana Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa meeting. April (Accra).
  • 2004. Responding to the socio-economic impact of HIV. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.
  • 2004. Strategy for introducing Home-based care services in Care International (Zambia) programs in Southern Province of Zambia.
  • 2003. The economic impact of HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia. Issues paper of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa
  • 2003. Contributor to Treating 2 million by 2005: Making it happen. WHO Strategy.
  • 2003. Contributor to Final report of the commission on human security.
  • 2000. Preparation of papers on the Economic impact of HIV: the development of case studies on the economic and social impact of HIV. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa conference on ‘AIDS the Greatest Leadership Challenge’. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • 2000. The silent killer: HIV/AIDS and African economies. Special Report background paper Africa for conference on ‘AIDS the Greatest Leadership Challenge’. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • 1998. Review of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Program implementation in Zambia. (Consultancy Report to Project Concern International). Lusaka, Zambia.
  • 1998. Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Annual Report for UNAIDS.
  • 1997. Children under fire: Part I. United Nations Development Programme. Special Report No. 7.
  • 1997. Prospects for regional economic integration in Southern Africa. UN. Special Report No. 234.
  • 1996. Children under fire: Part II. United Nations Development Programme. Special Report No. 6.

Presentations

  • 2014. Financing HIV and AIDS in the post-MDG world: what role for UNAIDS?Keynote address to UNAIDS Regional Directors Meeting. Hyatt Hotel Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • 2014. Investment cases for HIV and AIDS towards a 3rd generation methodology. Paper presented at UNAIDS High-Level Strategic Retreat on Prioritisation for AIDS. Geneva.
  • 2013. Post-Busan and global funding for HIV and AIDS: Challenges, opportunities and choices. Paper Presented at Wilton Park conference organised by US Government on ‘Strategic financing for HIV and AIDS in Africa post-PEPFAR’. Wilton Park, UK.
  • 2013. Global funding for health in an era of austerity: what implications for Africa? Paper presented at Chatham House as part of a closed session entitled: ‘Worlds Apart? Exploring the Interface between Financial Governance and Diplomacy in the age of Austerity’. London, UK.
  • 2012. HIV financing in an age of austerity. Plenary was presented at the ‘Global Conference on Gearing Macroeconomic Policies to Reverse the HIV/AIDS Epidemic’, jointly organized by UNDP’s HIV/AIDS Group and IPC and held in Brasilia. Brazil.
  • 2012. What should happen after the MDGs? Presentation to UNSG Special Session on ‘MDGs and After’. New York.
  • 2009. Rhetoric in the time of AIDS: African perspectives. Keynote address to the 2nd   International Conference of the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR). University of London, UK.
  • 2008. AIDS, poverty and democracy in Africa. Keynote Address to Africa Progress Panel meeting on Neoliberalism and Democratic Change in Africa. University of Bologna.
  • 2007. Building AIDS-resilient democratic societies in Africa. Keynote address to second Governance and AIDS Forum, organised by IDASA in Cape Town. May 22-24.
  • 2007. Chair/Discussant: Conference entitled: The Politics of AIDS: Globalization and Civil Society. Conference at Göteborg University and the Museum of World Culture. Goteborg. 18-19 May.
  • 2006. Presentation of paper (with Des cohen) on Investment case options for India’s response to HIV and AIDS to a Special Meeting of the Indian Planning Commission. New Delhi, India.
  • 2006. G8 Initiative on Africa in Context of African Needs. Plenary address to ‘The G8 Initiative on African development: how should Africa respond?’ held at Ditchley Park. Organized jointly by DFID, USAID and SIDA.
  • 2005. Beijing Plus 10. Review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Economic Commission for Africa.
  • 2004. Correlation between access to treatment and ARV uptake in Zambia. Paper presented at the 2nd African Conference on Social Aspects of HIV and AIDS Research. Cape Town, SA.
  • 2003. Redefining care & support for AIDS orphans: Elderly care givers – Victims or vestiges of hope? Paper presented at the International Conference on AIDS Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children. Yale University, New Haven, USA. May.
  • 2003. Hope for African Children Initiative. Paper presented at the International Conference on AIDS in Africa: Delivering Multi-Sector Solutions. John. F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. April.
  • 2002. The interaction between poverty and HIV and AIDS. Paper presented at the XIV International AIDS Conference. Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2001. Cost effectiveness analysis as a programming tool for HIV and AIDS orphaned/affected children in sub-Saharan Africa. A model presentation to USAID/DCOF. Washington D.C.

Research outputs

Journal article

Poku, Nk and J, Sundewall (2017) Political responsibility and global health Third World Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2017.1369034

Poku, NK (2016) UN political declaration on HIV and AIDS: where to begin? The Lancet, 388 (10046), pp 743–744, DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31336-8

Poku, NK (2016) How should the post-2015 response to AIDS relate to the drive for universal health coverage? http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2016.1215486

Opinion piece

Poku, N (2016) From exceptionalism to the challenge of ending AIDS by 2030 HEARD, Durban, South Africa